Friday, September 28, 2012

Dainty Dishes from War Meat.

When the US government decided to sell off a very large quantity of canned meat leftover from WWI  military supplies, it must have been a real challenge for the marketing department.  They rose to this challenge admirably, if we are to judge from the opening paragraphs of A dozen dainty recipes for preparing War department canned meats, by Mrs. Anna B. Scott (issued by the War Department, December, 1920.) Bear in mind that this meat must have been in the cans for several years before it was made available to be converted into dainty and tempting dishes.


War Department canned meats - corned beef, corned beef hash, roast beef, and bacon-are being offered to the American public by the Quartermaster Department at prices considerably below existing market quotations. These meats are not being retailed by the Government. For more than a year 77 Army quartermaster retail stores and branches sold them in small quantities across the counter. Recently, however, when the Army reorganization was accomplished and the needs of the few military forces definitely ascertained, several million dollars' worth were declared surplus, made available for sale, and offered to the public. Because of the large amount and the desire of the Secretary of War to throw all the force of the War Department into the campaign to reduce the cost of living, the meats were offered to the wholesale and retail trades at prices which will permit them to be resold at figures much below those obtaining elsewhere and still realize a reasonable profit.

There is no question as .to the high quality of War Department meats. Packed by the leading packing houses of North and South America, from the choicest cuts, they were prepared under special supervision, not only from the packers, but from the United States Government. The American Army, at home and abroad, found these meats in their daily rations. A healthier or brawnier set of men than those returning from overseas never has been seen, they thrived on War Department canned meats, often going for weeks with nothing to eat except these products. They tasted good in France. That same flavor, that same high nutritive value and quality is found in them to-day.


On the following pages will be found an even dozen of recipes selected from among a score of excellent ones which show the possibilities of these products. These meats should form a part of the menu in every home. They are much cheaper than other canned meats, although both were packed by the same packing house. They are nutritive and they are appetizing.
The War Department already has sold millions of dollars’ worth of these meats. Thousands of persons who have until now known canned meats only as a name recognize them as valuable additions to their daily rations.
If the dealers of the United States have not taken advantage of the War Department offerings, it is their own fault. The consuming public is urged to ask its dealers to lay in a supply of these meats as long as they last. If the dealer hasn't them, he can get them. Six Army supply bases, located in reasonable hauls of every section of the country, will accept orders for as little as $250 worth of meats. The War Department gives its guarantee to stand behind every can that is sold.
If the American public is desirous of reducing its cost of living it will avail itself of the opportunity offered by the Government. If the dealers in any locality have failed to place orders it is to the advantage of their patrons to insist that they do so.
War Department canned meats are tasty; they are nutritious; they are cheap. Serve them in your home; askfor them in cafes, restaurants, hotels, on dining cars, steamships, and wherever food is served. And ask for them by name: "WAR DEPARTMENT CANNED MEATS."

Here is the first recipe in the book:

2 cups canned roast beef.
2 cups cold boiled rice.
1 cup cream sauce.
1 teaspoon salt.
Pepper to taste.
I teaspoon grated nutmeg.
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley.
Breadcrumbs and one egg.
Put meat and rice through food chopper; add sauce and other ingredients; mix well; spread on plate; put in cold place. When cold and firm, take a tablespoon into floured hands and mold into cones or oblong shapes. After all are molded dip in well-beaten egg, which has been mixed with one tablespoon of milk; then in fine bread crumbs. Fry in very hot fat or cooking oil.
This recipe is sufficient for a family of four.

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